Arizona Dreaming

by on February 27, 2014 · 1 comment

in Civil Rights, LGBT rights

AZ VetoBy Ernie McCray

Editor’s Note: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer yesterday vetoed the controversial SB 1062, the purported religious freedom bill that critics say would have allowed businesses to legally discriminate against gays and lesbians in the state.

Growing up in Arizona
I used to have simple dreams:
Eating in any cafe;
sitting anywhere in a movie theatre
or skating at the rink
at any time on any day;
attending any school
I could get myself to
and swimming in any pool.

I dreamed in a state
where black people like me
drove the city fathers insane
when we dared to
carry ourselves with dignity
in our constant struggle
to be free.

A change came
after a number of years had passed,
not a moment too fast.
Jim Crow was suddenly all shaken and aghast
along with his followers en masse
trapped in what, to them, was a smothering morass,
with nobody to harass,
in contrast with their past,
having run out of gas and pizzazz
and sass
like a big mouthed bass
hooked out of familiar waters
with a fisherman’s perfect cast
and their ideals were surpassed and bypassed
by a people whose task
was simply to rise out of second class
citizenship and nothing has,
in life, pleased me more
than all that funky jazz.

But this love song
wasn’t around very long
before new verses were written
wherein a populace
had trouble deciding whether or not
they could go along
with honoring a man who
brought love to our thinking:
Martin Luther King.
That got taken care of
and my heart again began to sing.

Then there came a time when loud
anti-discrimination became the thing.
SB1070 became a rallying cry
to rid the state of “illegals,”
aka aliens,
introducing racial profiling
as a lawful theme.
Then attacking all things
brown came on the scene:
Chicano studies
were attacked
and ended
and books were banned.
Arizona just can’t seem
to respect all the humanity
that beautifies our land.

And, now, with ethnic studies returned
the Grand Canyon state has taken
an unimaginable frightful stand
against gays and lesbians,
turning its madness
into cries of religious freedom,
wanting business owners
to not feel compelled to sell
their services to those whom
they see as beneath
them according to their so called spiritual beliefs
and yet another group of people
find the dreams that they seek to live free
with dignity
desperately deferred and blurred by lack of empathy
and I find myself entertaining
simple dreams once again,
wondering when
Arizona, my homeland,
resting out there upon
the firm and sacred ground of the mighty Sonoran,
will ever become at ease
with all of the universe’s humanity
breathing freedom’s air.

When will they dare
to find it in themselves to care?

P.S. Even though the governor
has vetoed a hateful bill
on this February day,
I hold close to my simple dreams
any old way
because in most cities in Arizona
it’s legal to discriminate against
and fire people who are gay.
So there’s no telling what might
come along in this state down the way.
But, I, as me and my buddies used to say,
“Hey, man, it sho nuff is true
that I ain’t got nothing else to do”
so I will be watching
my homefolks closely
until the last of my days
and, I’m hoping that amounts
to a beaucoup number of days.
Please, hear what I say.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar Katydid52 February 27, 2014 at 5:10 pm

There a businesses out there with great customer service and with lousy customer service. Why would anyone want to use a business that does not want to serve them? There are plenty more to pick from. Maybe get a referral from a friend?

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